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Conditioning and Storing Flowers

Conditioning and Storing Flowers

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Conditioning and Storing Flowers

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  1. Conditioning and Storing Flowers

  2. Long lasting flowers • important • pleases customer • happy customers return to the florist when they need flowers in the future

  3. Flower deterioration • Low water absorption • most flower stems are at least partially blocked when they arrive at the retail florist

  4. Causes of blockage • cutting stems with dull tools • cut with shears that pinch the xylem (water conducting tubes in the stem)

  5. Causes of blockage • bacteria or minerals in the water clog the stem

  6. Loss of water • transpiration • process by which plants lose water through their leaves

  7. Transpiration • gases and water vapor move from an area of greater concentration to an area of lesser concentration

  8. Loss of Water • water vapor moves out of the plant through the stomata (stomates) • tiny openings in the underside of the leaf

  9. Loss of Water • flowers wilt when moisture is lost through transpiration quicker than it is taken in through the stems.

  10. Loss of Water • occurs more rapidly at higher temperatures

  11. Loss of food • flowers are still living and need a source of food

  12. Loss of food • flowers continue to photosynthesize after they are cut • must be given the proper light and a source of sugar

  13. Disease • Botrytis • a fungus which causes brown spots on petals

  14. Botrytis • do not allow flowers to get wet before putting them in the cooler • allow wet flowers to dry before putting in the cooler

  15. Ethylene Gas • naturally occurring gas in flowers that speed maturity

  16. Ethylene Gas • causes rapid deterioration of cut flowers • many sources of ethylene gas

  17. Ethylene Gas • fruit, especially apples • diseased or injured flowers

  18. Ethylene Gas • rotting foliage below the water line • exhaust fumes from cars

  19. Symptoms of ethylene • premature death • flower and petal drop • yellowing of foliage

  20. Symptoms of ethylene • loss of foliage • upward cupping of petals - known as sleepiness in carnations.

  21. pH • pH of 3.2 - 4.5 maximizes hydration • floral preservatives commonly added to prolong flower life lower the pH

  22. Conditioning flowers • techniques of treating flowers to extend their life. • Begins when flowers arrive from the wholesaler

  23. Unpacking • as soon as they arrive • loosen paper or plastic sleeves which they have been wrapped in

  24. Unpacking • flowers will expand as they mature • flowers will be crushed if the sleeves are not loosened.

  25. Unpacking • do not loosen sleeves on roses • customers prefer roses in the bud stage

  26. Unpacking • check for signs of disease, damage or wilting • remove damaged or diseased flowers from the bunch before storage

  27. Unpacking • excessive damage should be reported to the wholesaler

  28. Re-cut the stems • stems are cut with a knife rather than shears • shears can pinch the xylem tubes causing partial blockage

  29. Re-cut the stems • cut stems on a slant • this helps them to absorb more water • prevents the stems from sealing to the bottom of the container

  30. Re-cut the stems • stems should be cut under warm water • warm water contains less air than cold water

  31. Re-cut the stems • stems that have a milky sap must be blackened over a flame or put the tips in boiling water for 10-30 seconds to seal the sap so water can be absorbed.

  32. Remove lower foliage • remove all foliage from stems that would be underwater in the storage container • foliage left underwater will decay and lead to bacterial growth

  33. Remove lower foliage • rotting foliage clogs the stems and releases ethylene gas

  34. Clean Containers and Cooler • containers for flower storage should be cleaned with hot detergent solution, disinfected with bleach and thoroughly rinsed

  35. Clean Containers and Cooler • a 10% bleach solution is used for disinfecting the containers

  36. Metal Containers • decrease the effectiveness of preservatives

  37. Preservatives • Place a warm preservative solution in the container prior to adding flowers

  38. Preservatives • temperature of the solution should be between 100 degrees and 110 degrees Farenheit

  39. Preservatives • can be purchased in either liquid or powder form • follow directions for mixing the preservative